Bulgarian MEP: “We say zero illegal migrants”

Bulgaria seems close to joining the Visegrad Four in their refusal to accept any migrant quotas imposed by Brussels.

The following video from Bulgarian television features an interview with Angel Dzhambazki, a Bulgarian member of the European Parliament for Alliance of Conservatives and Reformers.

Tanya T, who translated this clip for subtitles, sends this explanatory note about the first part of the interview, which is not included in the excerpts below:

In the first part an opposition MP accuses a firm that built sections of the fence of “stealing from our national security” because the fence consists of only one row in certain sections, while according to specifications it had to be a two-row fence everywhere. The firm is connected to one MP from the Patriotic Party. He accuses her of revealing information to the traffickers — by making it public where the fence has only one row, and in which sections the surveillance cameras are currently not working.

He says the fence was built because their party insisted on its being built, and the opposition members who now saying it is not secure enough were against it. They were labeled “xenophobes” because of it and the Helsinki Committee (NGO) brought suit against Bulgaria in the Commission against Discrimination. He says that if the EU had a more reasonable common policy regarding migration a fence would have been built that would pass through Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia and what happened could have been avoided.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

02:55   It became clear — I believe it’s for the first time; correct me if I’m wrong —
02:59   that Bulgarian MEPs from all political parties —
03:02   both you, the Socialists and those on the Right — all agree
03:06   that there should be a change in the Dublin regulation.
03:09   Is it so? Am I right? You’re right, but it’s not the first time.
03:10   Angel Dzhambazki, member of the European Parliament, Alliance of Conservatives and Reformers
03:12   There were other points on which we were united. For example,
03:15   we’re in unconditional agreement that there has to be a HQ of a European Agency in Bulgaria.
03:21   [gap]
04:02   Let’s go back to Dublin now. Yes. The Dublin Agreements, they are several…
04:07   Explain to people what the problem is with this agreement,
04:10   because this probably doesn’t have much meaning for them — the Dublin Agreement… what is this?
04:14   There are several agreements , I believe the first two are from 1991,
04:18   which regulate the procedure when a person
04:23   enters the territory of an EU member state and seeks refugee status, or a humanitarian one, etc.
04:28   And the following decision was made: a person is registered in the country where he was first
04:32   discovered — he entered, for example, Germany on a ship, or Bulgaria by land,
04:36   or he entered Italy by air. He is registered there;
04:41   he seeks [refugee] status there. And that same country decides whether or not to grant it.
04:45   If that country gives him such status, the person is supposed to stay there.
04:49   If that same person is discovered, caught in another country applying for asylum again,
04:58   he has to be returned to the country where he was first registered.
05:01   Where he was first given refugee status. —Where he was first registered
05:04   — he may not even have been given refuge status.
05:07   For example, here, in Bulgaria, there were ISIS fighters who blew themselves up in Germany,
05:11   who had been registered, they passed through Vrazhdebna [migrant center in Sofia]
05:14   they rode on trams, trolleys [i.e. they lived in the capital]; they also passed
05:17   through Ovcha Kupel [migrant center in Sofia], and went on to Germany to kill people there.
05:20   These men were registered in Bulgaria. And under the Dublin Agreements, if they had
05:24   been caught in Germany they had to be returned here. That is, if
05:28   the German authorities had found out … —No, if they did their job. They do find out, by the way.
05:32   But they [unclear, maybe “lose track of”] hundreds of thousands… they [lose track of them].
05:36   OK, but these Islamists could come here and do this here. Yes. They should have been
05:40   returned to Bulgaria. —Under the Dublin Agreement… —They should have been returned.
05:43   So what do Bulgarian MEPs want? What we want — and I raised this issue in 2015
05:46   in the hall of the EU parliament — I now see that all colleagues…
05:49   the pressure is common, by the way; it doesn’t matter who was first, second, third, fifth;
05:53   we each brought pressure [for a change in the Dublin Agreement],
05:57   and the EU Commission has decided to make a proposal for changes, since they saw it doesn’t work.
06:02   The changes that the EU commission has proposed are palliative — they will do no work,
06:07   they change words — that’s the favored approach for that… —Clerks.
06:13   … of that group of clerks. I will make no definitions in order not to create tension…
06:16   Well, you are from there; I am from here, and that’s why I take the liberty to talk that way.
06:19   I was elected for my ? position, I am not a clerk, but that’s another topic.
06:22   So, Brussels clerks decide to replace words with other words and thus think to solve the problem.
06:27   And what do you, the Bulgarian MEPs, want? I want the following: first… there is a small nuance
06:31   in our positions, perhaps the colleagues will explain theirs better,
06:35   I want Bulgaria not to be a part of the relocation quota.
06:38   I want us not to be obliged — we have an external border — I insist that we are not obliged
06:42   to accept any illegal migrants or refugees under a relocation quota.
06:47   Quota relocation means those [migrants] in border countries
06:50   are to be relocated in other countries.
06:53   I am saying this: first, historically and culturally, we have nothing to do with this migration,
06:59   but even from an entirely political point of view, it is unreasonable for Bulgaria to be obliged,
07:02   given that it has to shoulder the burden of its position as a border country,
07:05   to take in other migrants under quotas.
07:08   We say the following — We insist that the quota for Bulgaria be zero.
07:11   From now on, the Commission should consider whether it wants to relocate migrants somewhere;
07:18   it is not a good idea to attempt to fine the countries —
07:21   you have probably heard statements by German officials who say,
07:25   “We will fine the member states who do not want illegal migrants.”
07:29   Well, it won’t work. They [the EU] will even open a procedure [for fines], and are opening it.
07:32   Then they’ll open a procedure that will divide the EU, if they do that, because neither Austria…
07:36   What kind of country is Austria — is it xenophobic? Is it an Eastern one? Is it a racist one?
07:40   According to some… Given how well nationalists are doing in elections…
07:44   According to those same… Well, I will abstain from giving definitions. —Yes, let’s drop this.
07:48   Poland, The Czech Republic, Austria won’t allow such a thing. The Visegrad 4 plus Austria.
07:52   But the process has begun. They opened it. —Great, let’s see how it goes.
07:55   Hungary won’t allow it, either. —What else do you, the Bulgarian MEPs, want?
08:00   We want the Commission to initiate a reconsideration within domestic laws [of member states]
08:04   of the periods in which any kind of status is given.
08:09   Because the last terrorists, those kind, good people, those mothers with children were coming,
08:13   the last attackers, some of whom, by the way, a third generation, born in France,
08:17   they have all been detained for criminal offenses.
08:20   For example, the murderous attacker in Berlin, the one who ran over people at the Christmas market,
08:26   had set a school on fire right after arriving, just for kicks.
08:29   then committed another crime, then was caught in Switzerland, then detained somewhere else…
08:33   and all the while he wasn’t expelled. Procedures were set up, but he awaited a status decision.
08:37   Somebody had been investigating something, but that guy was walking around the whole of Europe,
08:40   until he finally killed people and the Italian Carabinieri were forced to liquidate him.
08:45   That is, reduction of the decision-making period, expulsion of everybody who commits crimes,
08:50   and, generally, a reconsideration of the policy regarding illegal migration.
08:55   We say, zero illegal migrants. Thank you for this conversation.
08:58   Thank you as well, for choosing our program again.

One thought on “Bulgarian MEP: “We say zero illegal migrants”

  1. Why are they looking to expel these people? IF they were to make special considerations for them, like killing those people for crimes that everyone else wouldn’t be killed for, then maybe they’d stop coming.

    Maybe people need to start making a point to Germany: “You keep sending people over here, you’ll cause a crisis & we’ll have to come onto German soil- to gain refuge.” Other nations could have this same point made to them & it would apply broadly (just like with the whole Syrian refugee situation, where the people that show up are associated with Syrians by being muslim or middle eastern). So if there’s a crisis in Poland, there could be Hungarians taking refuge in these other areas (or Slovakians, or Czechs, or Bulgarians, etc…). Same with a crisis in Hungary or Bulgaria or wherever.

    Maybe there are people from other countries that would be interested in “helping the new refugees.” They could be doing it for monetary reasons, since they’d likely have less to pay for if there wasn’t a bill coming in from countries that were supporting the “original refugees.” They’d probably just be doing for ethical reasons, though- wouldn’t want to be racist, after all.

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